Apply for a plumbing licence

Licensed plumbers are issued a VBA licence card. If you are a licensed plumber, you must have the card with you whenever you carry out plumbing work. You must show the card upon request.

Image of a Plumbing lincence

The licensing process is shown in the following flowchart.

Plumbing licence registration process: Step 1 - holds registration in class or classes and holds prescribed competencies; Step 2 - Submit licence application; Step 3 - Successfully complete VBA exam (licence exam); Step 4 - VBA notifies decision in writing.

Ready to apply

You are ready to apply for a licence in a main class of plumbing if you meet all the following conditions:

  • You hold VBA registration in that class.
  • You meet the following work experience requirements:
    • Main classes: you meet the minimum work experience requirements for registration and have an additional two years’ of practical experience
    • Specialised classes: you hold a licence in the relevant parent class
    • Restricted classes: you have been registered in the restricted class for at least 12 months.

  • You have successfully completed the following prescribed common licence Units of Competency:
    • BSBSMB401A Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
    • CPCPCM4011A Carry out work based risk control processes
    • CPCPCM4012A Estimate and cost work
  • For each class you intend to apply for, you have successfully completed the applicable prescribed units.
  • You feel confident that you would pass a VBA licence exam.
  • You hold, or are eligible, to hold the required insurance.

If you are not currently registered in the classes you wish to seek licence for

You will need to submit a registration application in and have it approved before you apply for a licence.

If you completed a Certificate IV in Plumbing or plumbing licence course at a TAFE in Victoria or Albury in the last three years

You will normally complete the prescribed common and applicable class specific units as part of your course. You will also typically complete the VBA licence exam towards the end of your course.

If you do not hold one or more of the prescribed common licensed units

If you believe that you have the knowledge and competence equal to a person who holds these units, you may request to sit the VBA’s examination of the units you do not hold.

If you do not hold one or more of the prescribed class-specific Units of Competency

You must undertake the formal training at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to obtain these units. You can locate RTOs that deliver these units at www.myskills.gov.au.
Once you have successfully completed the training, you may submit your application.

If you hold older versions of these units or units that you think may cover the same skills and knowledge, you may still apply. We will review the units you hold and advise you whether they are considered equivalent or whether you would need to meet additional requirements.

About the licence exam

The licence exam for most classes consists of a written theory exam. If you did you not do the exam as a part of a Certificate IV exam, we will schedule you into the next available exam. We normally provide 10 days’ notice before booking you into an exam.

How to apply

You must submit:

  • the licence application form (PDF, 1680.4 KB)
  • certified photocopies of the official transcript issued by your training provider proving that you have completed the prescribed units. The transcript is typically in one of the following formats:
    • Statement of results
    • Record of results
  • a certified photocopy of a current insurance statement or eligibility for insurance
  • the application fee and registration fee (see Fees).

If you obtained registration in your plumbing class some time ago, we may ask you to submit new passport photos. We will let you know if this is the case.

Submit your application

By mail:

Victorian Building Authority
GPO Box 536
Melbourne VIC 3001

In person:

Victorian Building Authority
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands 3008

You must not make any written or oral statement to the VBA in relation to an application for registration (or for the renewal of registration) that you know, or should reasonably know, is false.

What happens after you apply

After you submit your application, we will review it. If your application is incomplete or we need further information from you, we may:

  • call you to provide additional information
  • invite you into an interview
  • return your application to you.

If you need to undertake an exam, we will contact you to schedule the exam and advise the exam fee. For exam costs see Plumbing fees.

Application outcome

Once the decision regarding the application is made, we will notify you of the outcome in writing.

If your application is successful

You will be licensed for up to 12 months and your details will be added to the VBA Find a practitioner plumbing register.

We will send you a licence card. If you already hold a licence in another plumbing class, you will be issued with an updated card.

If you are unsuccessful

We will notify you in writing and outline the reasons why your application was unsuccessful.

You may reapply at a later date. In your subsequent application, you will need to demonstrate that you have addressed the gaps that caused your previous application to be refused.

You have the right to appeal the decision by applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). To apply for a review of the decision, go to www.vcat.vic.gov.au, or contact VCAT by telephone on (03) 9628 9755.

Other useful information

Proof of identify

Acceptable forms of proof of identity include state or federal government issued photo ID, such as:

  • drivers licence
  • passport
  • Victorian Key Pass
  • VBA registration or licence card.

You will need to submit a certified photocopy of one of these documents with your application.

To have a document correctly certified

  • Photocopy the original document.
  • Take both the original and the photocopy to an authorised person. Find out who can certify documents (PDF, 213.23 KB).
  • Ask the authorised person to do the following on every page:
    • write "I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original."
    • write their name
    • sign each statement.